Company: Turnstile Publishing Company / GolfWeek
Headquarters: Orlando, FL
Industry: Media & Entertainment
CDN Services: Caching, Video-OnDemand, Live Video Streaming
Launched in 1975, Golfweek magazine is the flagship publication of Turnstile Publishing Co., which specializes in high-end magazines and websites for active and affluent audiences. Golfweek’s companion website, Golfweek.com, provides in-depth coverage of the professional golf world with unique content that focuses on junior and amateur golfers. With a goal of being the go-to site for golf commentary, Golfweek.com maintains an extensive archive of golf video and offers a range of original video programming, including coverage of professional, amateur, and college golf events.
Golfweek’s major competitor offers a television channel and website delivering basic, straightforward coverage of the PGA Tour. In contrast, Golfweek provides golfweek.com to deliver a deeper, broader, and edgier golf world experience to its readers. For example, the site’s new “Hate to be Rude” video interviews provide wit, sarcasm, and insights not found anywhere else.
To maintain its unique position and satisfy site visitors, golfweek.com constantly seeks to deliver new online video offerings from a variety of perspectives. Since golfweek.com is a free site supported by paid advertising, its advertising customers also benefit from fresh video content that entices visitors to click through. Golfweek.com’s Lead Web Developer, Ryan Gordon, explains the value of video this way: “Video is an important aspect of our online offering and high-end and focused video offerings are critical to encouraging advertisers to purchase our overall online bundle.”
While pre-roll advertising sales for its most popular videos were strong, Golfweek.com wasn’t maximizing video advertising revenue. That’s because the content delivery network (CDN) provider that had been serving video content for Golfweek.com was unable to provide insight into video viewership. “The CDN provider’s back-end analytics system was weak,” continues Gordon. Golfweek.com needed to either build its own video reporting engine and integrate it with the CDN provider’s technology or find an alternative service provider that could handle its long tail of video content. With a limited application development staff, it decided to seek another CDN provider.
While Golfweek.com’s team focused on Internet video delivery with robust and integrated reporting, it also sought must-have capabilities in the areas of website uptime, customer service, and global reach. With a large number of its site visitors located internationally, Golfweek.com wanted its new CDN provider to deliver content to all site visitors in a fast and reliable manner. It also sought better customer support. Golfweek had been plagued by poor communication between its developers and the CDN provider’s support staff. Golfweek wanted simple-to-understand responses to common content delivery challenges. Finally, it strongly desired highly flexible service terms. Its previous provider tied any service upgrade to lengthy contract extensions. Moreover, Golfweek found itself locked into high pricing even after costs for storage and bandwidth had dropped significantly.
After evaluating several CDN options, Golfweek.com decided to transfer its Internet content and video delivery services to CDNetworks. “Not only did CDNetworks offer strong analytics and reporting integrated into its video streaming solution, it surprised us with the breadth of its global network and knowledgeable services staff located in key regions around the world,” says Gordon. Golfweek.com also chose CDNetworks for its guaranteed uptime, documented high-speed performance, and flexibility. “We switched over without any end-user issues, and CDNetworks even allowed us to make sure everything worked as expected prior to finalizing our contract,” continues Gordon.
Cutting expenses and improving insight
The flexibility of the CDNetworks services options and bundles allowed Golfweek.com to tailor services to suit its unique requirements. As a result, it was able to reduce its annual CDN costs by approximately $40,000.
Golfweek.com uses the analytics data from CDNetworks to generate comprehensive reports around video impressions, and it can do so over longer periods of time and in a more granular fashion than before. This provides a number of benefits. First and foremost, Golfweek is able to deliver a better experience to site visitors. Plus, the insight enables the publisher’s sales professionals to sell advertising with the assurance that videos display quickly and reliably. Just as important, Golfweek can tell its advertisers the exact number of times a video was opened and price accordingly. Golfweek has also reduced the time and effort required of its small staff. Explains Gordon, “We need to send our videographers to the most promising video shoots possible. The improved video analytics help us determine which junior and amateur events prove most popular on our site.”
Expanding the Business
The company recently launched a companion site to Golfweek.com, called Golf360Online.com, focused on international golf news. With the money Golfweek has saved on CDN services, it plans to extend its capabilities and reach. For one, it intends to develop functionality that auto-plays sequenced and related videos. “This measure will help improve site stickiness and increase our advertising revenue,” says Gordon. Plus it will offer live streaming of more junior and college tournaments. Concludes Gordon, “There are thousands of junior and collegiate events taking place each year, with little coverage. We can fill this gap and satisfy the market demand.”
Founded in 1975, Golfweek is the most authentic, authoritative and independent voice in golf. Reaching more than 1.3 million readers each week, the magazine delivers the most complete news and information about the game, its players and the golf lifestyle – all to golf’s most important audience. The Golfweek brand also extends beyond the print publication to include Golfweek.com, Golfweek OnDemand, GolfweekHomes.com, Golfweek Custom Media and such industry wire services as The Golf Wire, The Apparel Wire and The Tour Van. Golfweek is part of Turnstile Publishing Company, one of the nation’s leading media brands specializing in highend publications for active and affluent audiences. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Turnstile Publishing Company is also the parent corporation of Community MediaHoldings LLC and the TurfNet Media Network, as well as such publications as Art Calendar, The Seminole Voice and The Winter Park/Maitland Observer.